Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index was little changed at 4,826.20 as of 12:05 p.m. in Sydney. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index (NZSE50FG) rose less than 0.1 percent to 3,435.94 in Wellington.
The following were among the most active shares in the market today. Stock symbols are in parentheses after company names.
Oil stocks: Crude oil for May delivery declined 0.5 percent to settle at $104.27 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange yesterday.
BHP Billiton Ltd., Australia’s largest oil company, gained 1.9 percent to A$46.46. BHP is unlikely to pay the A$47 billion ($48.5 billion) that may be required to buy Woodside, Citigroup Inc. and Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc said.
Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Ltd. (BEN) gained 0.9 percent to A$9.52. The regional lender was raised to “hold” from “sell” at Deutsche Bank AG, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Iluka Resources Ltd. (ILU) , the world’s biggest zircon producer, surged 8.8 percent to A$13.30 amid takeover speculation. A call for comment to Robert Porter, Iluka’s general manager of investor relations, wasn’t returned.
“It’s really the corporate appeal given there’s been a lot of talk of mergers and acquisitions,” Lucinda Chan, division director and head of Asian business at Macquarie Private Wealth in Sydney, said by phone.
Lynas Corp. (LYC AU) rose 4.6 percent to A$2.28. Sojitz Corp. and the government-backed Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp. will jointly give $250 million to Australia’s Lynas in loans and investment, Sojitz said in a press release.
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